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Protect your BRAND now, before the proposed government fee increase applies!

Is your Brand Protected?

Act now to ensure your Brand is protected before the proposed fee increase applies

Recently, the government intellectual property office has undertaken a review of their fees. The first stage of the process is now complete and they are seeking customer feedback on the proposed changes by 16 January 2012. The proposed changes (scheduled to come into effect in July and October 2012) include higher fees on a number of steps of the trademark registration process. The proposal includes, without limitation the following:

  • Filing of trademark applications (save as to using the government ‘pick list’ filing option) – increase of $40.00 per class, from October 2012
  • Filing of “series” trademark applications (save as to using the government ‘pick list’ filing option) – increase of $40.00 per class from October 2012
  • Finalising of trademark registrations – increase of $50.00 per class, from July 2012
  • Renewal of trademark registrations – increase of $50.00 per class, from July 2012

There are also propose increases to fees in connection with Hearing matters and filing of Written Submissions. (Currently, there is no official fee payable to file written submissions for consideration at hearings. A new fee of $100.00 is proposed.

HEADSTART APPLICATIONS:

The consultation paper also outlines a number of proposed changes to the fees under the Trademark Office’s “Headstart” system. For the most part, an increase of $30.00 per request/per class is proposed. However, progressing from the initial request to the “2nd part” of the Headstart system sees a proposed decrease of $10.00 per class. Please be mindful when using this system to “DYI” your trademark application, the Trademarks Office cannot provide advice to you and seeking advice after progressing through this system can often work out more costly than having discussed your trademark with a specialist to begin with.

TIPS to avoid the additional costs in protecting your brand:

  1. If you have already registered a trademark and it is due for renewal in the next 12 months, you can renew it at any time from now on. We encourage you to attend to it before July 2012 to avoid the additional renewal fees proposed;
  2. It takes a minimum of 7.5 months to register a trademark in Australia. However, if you experience a straightforward and smooth process, you will be notified of the acceptance of your trademark usually in around 4 months (and are provided 6 months to pay your final fees). Commencing the process now will allow you to make the final registration payment, before July 2012 to avoid the additional registration fees proposed.
  3. Where possible our office will file applications using the ‘pick list’ filing option, which means for the most part application fees will not change according to the proposal. However, if you have the need to file an application in a different manner, ensure you act soon to avoid the proposed increase to application fees.

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